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Campaigners in Liverpool have launched a fresh bid for a new law which would would force officials to come clean after wrongdoings or failings.
The ‘Hillsborough Law‘ was first suggested after families of the 96 victims of the disaster were forced at recent inquests to defend themselves against allegations that fans had had too much to drink.
This was despite an Independent Panel in 2012 absolving all fans of any blame, instead citing failures by the police, ambulance service and defeats in the stadium.
The law would also mandate bodies to operate proactively with investigations, inquires and inquests, and provide support for the bereaved and core participants at the same time.
A Real Relevance to Grenfell Tower
Image Credit: Natalie Oxford / Twitter
Elkan Abrahamson, a lawyer from Broudie, Jackson and Canter, has now launched a crowdfunder to get enough cash to make the proposals a reality.
He explained: “The investigation of state related deaths is characterised by an institutional culture of delay, denial and defensiveness.”
Public bodies routinely cover up their wrongdoings using taxpayers’ money. There is concern this is already happening with Grenfell
“Public bodies routinely cover up their wrongdoings using taxpayers’ money. There is concern that this is already happening with Grenfell, with authorities and private entities denying responsibility before the fire was even out.”
He added: “We need to stop this and make it a legal duty to tell the truth and proactively cooperate with investigations and inquiries.”
Cross Party Support – But Still Parliamentary Hurdles
Co-Leader of the Green Party, Caroline Lucas. Image Credit: UnderClassRising / Flickr
The potential law has already received the support of more than 80 MPs across various parties in the Commons, including the Green’s Caroline Lucas, Labour’s Jess Phillips and the Lib Dem’s Tim Farron.
However, Mr Abrahamson says there are still hurdles, with a campaigner lobby needed for a vote to be tabled and won in the House of Commons.
The right to life is one of the most fundamental parts of our human rights, protected by Article 2 of the Human Rights Convention.
While it is impossible to reverse a tragedy such as Hillsborough or Grenfell, the act provides vital protections to families by obliging the Government to investigate the wider circumstances around any deaths.
It means that the state cannot take the lives of its citizens, and must also take steps to help protect their lives. When someone dies at the hands of the state, or as the result of a failing by the state, that death must be properly investigated.
Still Some Way to Go…
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The news comes after the Government announced a new public advocate to help families get justice in the wake of the Grenfell Fire.
However, while the Government said the advocate would be an independent voice to support the bereaved, details were scant, and it did not go as far as the proposed ‘Hillsborough Law’.
MPs should amend the Bill the Tories are calling a “Hillsborough Law” to include the measures the Hillsborough families actually called for.
— Andy Burnham (@AndyBurnhamGM) June 21, 2017
So far, the crowdfunder has raised £720 out of the £25,000 needed to launch a campaigning group.